New US*MADE Analysis Finds Very Few Patents Held by Small Inventors Are Ever Subject to PTAB Review

USPTO reviewed patents of just 13 small inventors and individuals in 2021

Washington, DC – June 2, 2022 – The U.S. Manufacturers Association for Development and Enterprise (US*MADE) – a coalition of manufacturers and American manufacturing trade associations focused on protecting job-creators from abusive patent litigation – today released a new analysis of inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), entitled “The State of PTAB Review.” The analysis reveals that few small inventors and individuals have ever been subject to such review since 2016. US*MADE conducted the analysis drawing on data from Insight, RPX Corporation’s online research platform.

In 2021, there were 1,387 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions in total, but patents held by only 13 so-called small “inventors” or “individuals” were reviewed.

“The numbers tell the story,” said Beau Phillips, US*MADE executive director. “While there may have been a time when the ‘NPEs-are-here-to-help-small-inventors’ model held weight, in today’s environment, non-practicing entities – or ‘patent trolls’ – are fueled by bad patents, and they’re doing nothing to promote innovation. NPEs are just a cog in a massive litigation finance machine, funded by law firms, foreign funds, and hedge funds – private investors expecting fat returns.”

The numbers have been similar or declining over the last several years:


# of Small Inventors or Individuals with Patents Subject to PTAB Review

Total # of PTAB Reviews Filed



















Phillips added, “The trolls and their sympathizers are pushing a false narrative. The number of small inventors and individuals with patents subject to PTAB review barely breaks double digits every year—which is a small fraction of PTAB reviews annually. US*MADE challenges the notion that IPRs are a threat to small inventors. By comparison, more than half of the 4,000 patent lawsuits filed last year were against American manufacturers including our members. In reality, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board helps weed out bad patents and disarm unscrupulous actors that target legitimate innovators of all sizes whose inventions drive the American economy.”

For more information about patent quality, inter partes review (IPR), abusive patent litigation and the threat to U.S. manufacturers, visit


The U.S. Manufacturers Association for Development and Enterprise (US*MADE) is specifically focused on preserving and protecting inter partes review and protecting American manufacturers from abusive patent litigation. Manufacturers are frequent targets of patent litigation by shell companies that produce no products or services. These job creators are shaken down for hefty royalty payments by plaintiffs wielding vague, low-quality patents that likely should have never been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To learn more, go to

For more information, contact:

Lauren DuBois
(917) 573-2485